Cozumel, Q.R. — A cruise ship that was denied docking in both Jamaica and Cayman Islands has been cleared by Mexican health officials and granted permission to dock at Cozumel.
The MSC Meraviglia cruise ship has been given the go-ahead to dock at the island after it was denied docking in two other stops due to coronavirus concerns. The go-ahead was given by health officials and mayor of Cozumel after an emergency meeting regarding the early arrival of the ship.
In a press conference held by Dr. Alejandra Aguirre, head of the State Health Secretariat, she presented the strategy undertaken by the government of the State of Quintana Roo in the epidemiological prevention measures aimed at keeping tourists and residents safe in accordance with WHO recommendations for the prevention of COVID-19.
“We recognize that tourism activity is essential in our state and we are prepared to prevent any situation related to an epidemiological alert, however, it is important to highlight that at the moment, WHO has not recommended travel restrictions and the Ministry of Health of the Government of México has confirmed that there are currently no positive or suspicious cases under investigation,” she explained.
“We reiterate that the Ministry of Health of Quintana Roo has all the necessary information to confirm that there is no risk of COVID-19 in the aforementioned vessel and therefore, will operate normally in our country,” she added.
The news came after the mayor of Cozumel, Pedro Joaquín Delbouis, was alerted to the ship’s early arrival after being denied docking permission in both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands after they reported having a crew member with a respiratory illness.
The crew member was diagnosed with a case of influenza. “The crew member who was diagnosed with common seasonal flu is in stable condition, has received antiviral treatment and medications, has no fever and is practically recovered,” reported the company.
“As a precaution, he was isolated from other crew members and passengers from the moment he showed symptoms and will remain so until he fully recovers. No other cases of influenza type A have been reported aboard the MSC Meraviglia,” they added.
Joaquín Delbouis said they have maintained constant communication with the cruise line as well as with the Ministry of Tourism and Health, confirming that it is not coronavirus but influenza A. He said there is no impediment for the ship to reach Cozumel and disembark its passengers.
The cruise ship, which is from Miami, remained anchored 3 kilometers off the island of Cozumel while Mexican health officials traveled out to the ship to review the health issues on board. According to Guillermo Rentería of the Integral Port Administration of Quintana Roo, the ship will dock February 27 at 11:00 a.m. at the Punta Langosta cruise terminal.